Friday, 23 September 2011
Now it is 2011. My friend's birth was in 1982 and when her mother, a brilliant thinker and doer, wrote it she was following the example of those fearless feminists of the seventies: nothing hidden by prudery or ashamed of being out and proud and womanly. I wonder when women first started writing down these birth stories of theirs, because although I think of it as a modern phenomenon, a refusal to be abashed by something so primal, any woman with a birth story to tell and the power of writing must have been tempted, if she could only find the time and privacy to write. It is still difficult, though, because what we are dealing with is the body, the very last thing to sit comfortably in words. I reckon that when people told stories and hadn't the choice of writing them down there was probably also this love of the birth story. I imagine it fell to the most garrulous and earthy of women to relate these tales. Perhaps they were also the midwives. 'Midwife to the tale', now where did I hear that phrase?
Friday, 9 September 2011
Saturday, 8 January 2011
Before I start, I'd appreciate it if (should you choose to publish anything I mention) you kept my name from the record. I'm a (thankfully) former employee of Studio London's.
I should probably begin by saying that Studio London has recently been taken into administration - they are now masquerading under the name Paparazzi Studio.
The comment you posted replies to about a month ago is largely a load of rubbish. When Studio London/Paparazzi Studio make a booking, they take a deposit for two reasons - firstly to try and ensure you turn up, and secondly to attempt to make *some* money out of you in the event that you decide not to pay them any more money for photographs (they will try to give you a print or digital image in return for keeping your deposit; though they will [begrudgingly] return your deposit if you are adamant that you don't want to buy anything.)
There is no 'cost associated with' reserving a photographer or allocating a time slot. All hair, make-up, photography, and sales are done broadly on a first-come, first-served basis. If you don't turn up, the photographer isn't going to sit on his arse for the time it would have taken to take your pictures; he'll simply be allocated someone else (and the make-up artists, photographers, and hair stylists have no idea who they're going to see right up to a few minutes before they see them).
As a matter of fact, the company is completely reliant on people not turning up - the management has a policy of overbooking, to the point that if even 75% of the people booked in on any given day were to turn up, the studio would have an incredibly difficult time dealing with them all, leading to the customers having a very disappointing experience, and the latest ones (those with appointments in the early afternoon) probably either a) waiting around until very late in the evening (after ten o'clock, in some cases) to be shown their pictures and given the hard sell, or b) after having had a further (refundable, but completely unnecessary) £50 'holding deposit' attempted to be taken from them, being told to come back another day in order to be shown their pictures and given the hard sell. Failure to be shown one's pictures and be given the hard sell results in the loss of one's deposit.
I should also say that the people who work 'on the front line' of the company, and actually deal with the customers, do, in general, an excellent job, given the farcical way in which the company is run. They are aware of the dubious business practices they are employing, and are as dismayed by them as the customers are - but are usually unable to do much about them without going out of their way to deceive or placate the management staff (which does occasionally happen). They are not paid anywhere near the amount they deserve for the hours they work and for what they have to put up with - but I suppose that that is true for many jobs. Management (or 'directors', as they prefer to be called), on the other hand, are paid far too much for what they do - but again, that is true for many companies.
I think that's all for now.
Monday, 13 September 2010
a) why on earth indeed? Read back through the blog to find out. I was feeding the baby when, out of the blue, the phone rang and some lovely-voiced lady told me I'd won a prize.
b) none of that makes the slightest difference to me, the customer - or should that be 'prizewinner'. Potential sales are just that - potential. And I shouldn't forfeit any money to, or be made to feel guilty by a company that can't cover its own costs as a photography studio.
And if you're not saying their methods are right, stop defending them! Thank you for writing in, though, and do get in touch if I've misrepresented you. Now over to you.
"I read all these comments and two things spring to mind.
a) why on earth do you give you card details to a person you don't know, from a company you haven't contacted and whose product you're not sure if you'll buy?
b) do you realise that when you book a time slot for your photo session, they have a cost associated with it? They need to reserve a photographer and allocate a time slot. If you then don't turn up, they have lost a potential sale and still have to pay the photographer...
I'm not saying that their methods are right (although their are legal), but they aren't any different from any other makeover photo company or business that wants to get you in their shop so they can sell you their product."
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Don't watch this space, in other words. I think I'm a SAD blogger - seasonally affected and unlikely to write much in the summer months. I don't need the warmth of my overheated laptop to keep me going in July. Neither, I'll warrant, do you.